Southern California is virtually synonymous with the muscle car , especially the convertible version. And while family sedans come and go with frightening regularity, the iconic muscle car sheds its skin only on rare occasions. So, it is no surprise that this week, the huge automotive story is the launch of the new Ford Mustang. For months observers and fans wondered how close to the original mission would this new version hew? Ford promised it would be less retro and more modern, and fans wringed their hands in anticipation, while spy photographers fell over themselves trying to get a good shot. Well, after much speculation and copious leaks, the official images have arrived.

The beast in the flesh will be seen for the first time at the Detroit auto show in January, so until then, enjoy. Of course people and fans will have opinions, as all loyalists do, but to my eye, Ford did the right thing. Striking a balance between modern and retro, the car feels instantly recognizable and yet fresh, focusing less on retro and more on heritage. And while personally, muscle cars have really never done anything for me, ( they always seem relegated to rental car fleets ) even I can appreciate the attraction here. The stubby butt and elongated hood is a classic shape, and I am pleased to see it intact in the new design. The interior, while never meaning to be luxurious, at least looks better made than Mustangs of the recent past. In all, it will be interesting to see how this new pony goes over. Let the conversations begin…

The Vehiclist